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Well, this is more of a whine than a discussion topic because I know the answer is yes, I am being petty, but it annoys the heck out of me that mom's aide feels free to help herself to our food. I'm not talking about full course meals, but a handful of peanuts here, a scoop of hummus there, sampling the fruit I have prepared for mom. This woman is here only two days a week for a total of 8 hours, I would never, ever feel comfortable taking such liberties in an employers home.

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I have my daughter living with me for now. I told her that she could eat anything that didn't have my name on it.

I sympathize with you. Do u have a cabinet or shelf you can set aside for snacks for the caregiver? I see no problem with her having lunch with Mom. You could make up just enough for Mom and caregiver. I see no problem in leaving notes "For dinner only" You could explain that you need to cut down on the grocery bill. I have a cabinet that is where I sort of hide stuff so things aren't eaten all at once. With someone like this, I would make sure all bedroom doors were locked. Bathroom, Moms room, kitchen and living area would be the only area she would be allowed in. Also, would leave nothing around worth money.
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Trinigurl, your caregiver is pushing boundaries and knows it, some things go without saying. Keep your feet out of my shoes, I would be oh so tempted to say, gosh I hope you don't get that fungus I have, I have been treating it for months and can't get it cleared up😎. She might think next time. However, if she is doing things that are so blatant, what else? Have you checked your valuables, expensive yet easily overlooked items, that she has made herself so at home is concerning and that you are worried about retribution should be a red flag.
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Have you had a conversation with this caregiver? These agency workers do not get paid what you pay the agency, some not even half the $ goes to the actual caregiver, i understand all the expenses the agency has, insurance, taxes, etc. So if this caregiver is an asset to your moms care and your time, i would recommend some ground rules. If its in the fridge and has my name on it, hands off! So, you have to buy a roll of masking tape and a sharpie, no big deal. If you want to prepare the fruit and share with mom, great! Key word-prepare. The woman is there 9 hours at a stretch, unless mom is super active some of the eating may be boredom, a handful hear, a bite there. My concern, being that I am OCD, did you wash your hands before poking your fingers in my peanuts!!??!! I would set boundaries and have the hard talk, maybe you can get her a can of peanuts all her own. It really depends on the service she provides and if you are happy with that as to how far we go to keep caregivers happy.

Good luck!
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My mother's caregiver, open my unopened bag of potato chips, ate all of my mother's snacks and drank her juice. She asked if she could borrow my house shoes - while she had my house shoes on her feet. She went into my freezer and helped herself to my frozen dinners. I had to bring this to a complete halt. I was hesitant when I first noticed it because my mother liked her and she was a good caregiver and I just thought that those items were small, but if you take all of the incidents in total - she is wrong and I hope my telling her about it does not create a situation where I would need to replace her.
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I'd talk to the agency and see if something could be worked out with pay. They get a meal but a little less pay to compensate.

If compensating the pay isnt an option and the caregiver is a good one, I would ask that they have snack times together and id provide the snacks. It would be my way of saying thank you for taking good care of my mom. But, if it goes to the level of eating meals on my dime without some sort of an agreement, id say something and be as nice as possible, then go from there.

I work in an office, but if I worked in a grocery store, I wouldn't eat the stores food at free will, that's stealing and it's the same thing in someone's someone's home.
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I asked the agency I used what the expectation was for mealtime and they replied the caregivers bring their own food and snacks

Of course the caregiver showed up emptihanded everyday but that was just one of many things I decided I would have to overlook - the food didn't bother me so much but drinking all my bottled water sure irked me

Another agency which I didn't use required a meal be provided even for a 4 hour shift
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I wouldn't call it petty - you're certainly entitled to your feeling on the matter. However, it does make me wonder if maybe there isn't a bit of transference going on. Kinda like just one more thing in your life that is effected by having your mom live with you. If my mother had lived with me, I imagine I'd feel the same way - "Great! Now I have to hide my own frickin' can of peanuts in my own frickin' house!"

I have to admit that when it comes to Rainman I tend to go the opposite direction - attempts at bribery and sucking up so that the few people I trust to look after him think it's a great gig and hopefully would never consider NOT doing it.
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I dont think your being petty. We had a caregiver once who sat down every meal to eat with the family. One night I asked her to do dishes because i wasnt feeling well. She told me it wasnt her job to clean up after family, only the client. The next night when she sat down to eat, I told her it wasnt my job to feed her or clean up after her. She tried to have an attitude and her agency got an earful. Its like the saying, you give an inch, they will take a mile.
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I don't think it's petty. I think you have to reset boundaries. I've had to do this with my mom's caregiver. She would sneak off to the store without my mom. I nipped that in the bud. I buy plenty of food to share with her so I'm not really concerned about that but I expect 100% coverage of my parent when I go to work. I decided not to let food boundaries be an issue from the beginning because she's with my mom 5 days a week.
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I wonder if it is the parent who is offering the caregiver to help themselves?

Dad's caregivers always brought with them their own meals, but Dad would insist they sit down at the table and be with him while he ate. The caregivers weren't suppose to do that, but I didn't mind if it made Dad happy :)

But I can understand if you had saved something in the refrigerator for yourself, I have had that happen when my sig other would take something I was saving for myself... [sigh].
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I've often quashed a desire to phone up the Agency chief to give her a lecture on things that I would do differently if I were in charge. The fear of course is that any changes made might not be for the better, I have no say in who is sent here beyond b**ching after the fact. Any concerns I have are relayed to a case manager who in turn relays them to the agency, the last round had the director dropping in when I was away to see how the caregiver was doing... of course everything was fine, or I assume so since nothing changed. The bureaucracy surrounding it all is just so, so... it makes me tired just thinking about trying to change things.
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I just don't think it *is* petty to mind. Do you help yourself to people's food and drink when you're in their houses? Surely at the very least, if you were going to be there for a while, you would *ask* if it was okay first?
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Agree no caregiver should help themselves uninvited to food in someones house and I would never do that.
But I can tell you how pissed off I feel when I have sat with a dieing loved one half the night when the family comes in and cooks up breakfast and does not so much as offer a cup of coffee. Other wonderful families make sure the nurse is well fed. It takes all sorts but I soon learned to always have a snack in the car.   It just underlines the need to set the rules for your expectations at the beginning
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I had the same problem with the same emotions. Feeling my reactions where petty and selfish. I came to the realization that what I was reacting to was the way she helped herself to my food. Body language, that I saw, was intitlement along with everything was up for grabs. She would make me angry with her leaving one piece of food. I took this as her telling me I ran out-- needs to be replaced. How do you leave one piece of ham or one piece of bread?? She would eat at least four times a day. I found myself grocery shopping just for her. After realizing what I was doing along with why I was doing it --- to keep her happy --- a stop was put into place. We can't deny the negative feelings we have as petty but you can't keep feeding the one that takes advantage of our food. It may take awhile but you do come to stop feeling petty and selfish about this.
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It's really the whole invasion of privacy thing, many of these women are used to helping people who are living without family supports so they tend to take over for them. I think sometimes she doesn't get it that this is MY home, I live here too, and that some things are here for me alone, not for mom and not for sharing.
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I specifically mentioned I my caregiver interviews that I welcomed them to help themselves to coffee and tea but made it clear that they were to bring their own meals. Now I feel bad because I have just found out that Mom has been sharing their lunches by giving them the hungry puppy look until they share.

I don't think snacks would bother me so much but I can see where it would bother some. But then, you feel petty saying anything.

I get it.
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?!?!!?

What a liberty, indeed!

No, it is not okay! No, you are not being petty! Good grief.

I always made enough for my respite caregiver to share lunch with my mother, but a) that was so mother wouldn't be eating alone and b) she was *invited.* AND she always brought her own lunch, besides, she never took it for granted that she'd be catered for.

So unless yours is doing this purely in the spirit of keeping your mother company and putting her at ease, I think you should feel free to mention that it isn't what you would expect and you would prefer it if she kept her face out of your fridge, thank you very much.
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